A major political controversy has erupted over a government decision to use French troops, normally deployed on streets in anti-terrorism patrols, to defend official buildings and free-up police numbers during anti-government 'yellow vest' protests this weekend, amid tensions heightened by a ban on demonstrations in certain towns and cities.
FDrench President Emmanuel Macron, speaking during a visit to Chad, said he "very deeply' regrets the decision by his US counterpart Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Syria, commenting that 'An ally should be dependable'.
A French soldier escaped injury after a knifeman who attacked him and colleagues on foot patrol in the busy central Paris underground train station Châtelet was wrestled to the ground and detained, prompting the opening of a counter-terrorism investigation.
In a visit lasting just a few hours, President Emmanuel Macron on Friday met some of the 4,000 French troops engaged in Mali to fight jihadist forces in the north and the wider Sahel region, pledge that France will continue to defend the West African country and to provide aide for its development.
Jean-Marc Ayrault called for the UN Security Council, which includes Russia, to take a stand over Syrian government troops use of toxic gases.
Move comes at time of growing regional terror threats and after Islamist attack on Grand Bassam beach resort in March that left 19 people dead.
Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Paris is deploying additional police to border crossings and air, sea and rail infrastructure.
In BVA poll 55 percent said they would support French action in Syria compared to 64 percent who were against it in 2013.
French troops sent to protect tens of thousands displaced by the violence are now accused of exploiting the lawlessness engulfing the nation.
The numbers of troops deployed in a security plan introduced after the January Paris terrorist attacks will be maintained in the immediate future.
Defence minister announces use of soldiers on home soil with 4,700 personnel deployed at France's 717 Jewish schools.
Around 150 French soldiers who helped run military airport hand over responsibility to Turkish unit working under the new NATO mission.
Terrorism was rule out for two attacks in which vehicles were driven at city-centre crowds, but PM Valls said he understood public 'worry'.
French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says some important leaders are among those killed or captured, mostly in Mali and Niger.